[CT Birds] Hermit Warbler in Barkhamsted (Pleasant Valley)

Nick Bonomo nbonomo at gmail.com
Sun Feb 7 13:57:01 EST 2016

The Hermit Warbler that was originally found by Dave Rosgen on January
31st was relocated today. A search party of seven of us headed up this
morning to spread out and scour the area of Dave's original sighting,
and [somewhat surprisingly] it did not take us more than an hour to
relocate the bird! Fran Zygmont first re-spotted it just before 9am
and the warbler was observed pretty much constantly from 9 til 11am or
so. (I heard at 1pm that it had not been seen since it disappeared
around 11am, and many birders are on the scene).

In the morning the bird seemed to prefer the riverbanks from the Route
318 bridge and immediately southward to the post office. Both west and
east banks were used (mostly the sunlit west side), often foraging
quite low...even on the ground at times. Later in the morning, as
temps warmed up, the bird got a bit higher, and for several minutes it
was seen foraging in the evergreens at the NW corner of the 4-way
intersection that is immediately on the west side of the bridge (318 x
181/West River Rd).

As Dave mentioned in his initial report, this appears to be a young
male (or perhaps adult female...I am unsure at the moment). It shows
no signs of hybridization with Townsend's Warbler to my eye - the
breast completely lacks yellow, it is only faintly marked on the rear
auriculars, and the upperparts are gray with an olive tinge.

A huge Thank You to Dave Rosgen for finding and reporting this bird,
and thanks to John Marshall for posting Dave's report for us to see!

It stands to reason that this bird has been in the area for a while
and will spend the rest of the winter here, as long as it survives. We
have had a mild winter with little snowfall to this point.
Temperatures are forecast to become frigid later this week, so it
might be a good idea to place a bit of suet along the river before
that point.

If not found along the river just south of the bridge where it was
loyal this morning, I would check the neighborhood along 181/River Rd,
focusing on conifers and suet feeders. If you'd rather not spread out,
watching from the bridge itself (safely!) is a great vantage point.
The bird can be anywhere from the ground to the canopy. It was not
associating with any other birds while I was there.

I'm sure many photos will be posted later on.

Thanks again Dave!

Nick Bonomo
Wallingford, CT

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